The role of elastin peptides in modulating the immune response in aging and age-related diseases

Pathol Biol (Paris). 2012 Feb;60(1):28-33. doi: 10.1016/j.patbio.2011.10.006. Epub 2011 Nov 17.


It is now well accepted that aging is associated with the occurrence of a low-grade inflammation called Inflamm-aging. This leads to the imbalance between the various mediators of the inflammatory response in favour of the pro-inflammatory response represented by pro-inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress. The question that arises, and is still under investigation, what is the origin of the driving force leading to these changes. One of the current hypotheses is that chronic stimulation of the immune system contributes to the pro-inflammatory shift. The chronic stimulation can be of viral origin such as cytomegalovirus, from tumor antigens or from other sources such as the extracellular matrix, especially from elastin fibres and collagens. Aging and various inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis, abdominal aortic aneurysms, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), cancer and type 2 diabetes are characterized by the destruction of elastin fibers and the consequent generation of elastin peptides which are biologically active. This review will describe the putative contribution of elastin peptides to inflamm-aging and extend on their role on immunosenescence, as well as on age-associated chronic inflammatory diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / genetics
  • Adaptive Immunity / physiology
  • Aging / immunology*
  • Aging / pathology*
  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Disease / etiology*
  • Disease / genetics
  • Elastin / chemistry
  • Elastin / genetics
  • Elastin / metabolism
  • Elastin / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology*
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Models, Biological
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Peptides / physiology


  • Peptides
  • Elastin